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February 13, 1971 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-13

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, February 13, 1971

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Saturday, February 13, 1971

records
A pointy head story on record

By FARGONE BERMAN
Nilsson fans beware! If you
must buy his album The Point!
'RCA LSP-4417) be aware that it
is from the soundtrack of an ani-
mated film production recently
shown on TV. I do not know if
he did the narration for the TV
presentation, but Nilsson rer-
forms a weakly-interested sound-
ing narration for the album. He
is also responsible for writing
the story and producing and sing-
ing the songs.
The album alternates tracks
of narration with songs.
Dig: The town of Point has
points everywhere, e v e n on
everyone's heads. Oblio is a kid
born without a point on his head
and for nefarious reasons a wick-
ed Count orders him put on trial.
The kindly king and a good
townsfolk hate to have Oblio ban-
ished, but the law is the law and
the Point people are good law-
abiding citizens and bye-bye
Cblio.
O.K. so far an educational a_-
bum for the kiddies, true to life,
etc. And the music, lushly or-

chestrated affairs with jaunty
Nilsson vocals, is just dandy.
But after numerous adventures
during their exile in the Point-
less Forest, Oblio and his doggie
Arrow return to town, whereupon
the points upon the buildings and
upon the peoples' heads begin to
melt and disappear. !'he evil
Count's point does not disappear,
it merely wilts-fine, some phal-
lic symbolism-and when he
takes Oblio's hat off his head
it is discovered that Oblio has
grown a point, which can only
mean that Oblio is the only non-
castrated person in town.
I had gone up to the last two
songs assuming that this album
was designed for chronologically
young children, but "P.O.V.
Waltz" mentions drinking and
"Are You Sleeping" has two peo-
ple sleeping with each other.
Well, the story is not intriguing
enough for the older people, but
the music is pleasant tnd at least
the more experience - trodden
folks will not be swallowed by
the fairy-tale line.
The wee tots? There is only one

chance for kids growing up in
Amerika today. Give them Fire-
sign Theatre albums and give
the kids the head start they need.
How to review those promotion-
al albums with about one cut
given to each artist from the
spectrum of talent of a parent
record company's collection?
Looney Tunes-Merrie Melodies
(Warner Bros. PRO 423). Three
albums. Two hours, one minute,
three seconds of music. 34 cuts.
33 lifferent artists or groups.
64:25 good music, 39:53 fair mu-
sic, 16:45 bad music. Hype liner
notes pushing albums. Best part
of the entire production is the
Elmer Fudd as Pig cartoon cover
and notice the Warner Brother's
emblem on his hat. Available by
mail order only from Warner
Brothers, 4000 Warner Blvd.,
Burbank, Cal. 91505. Largely
rock artists (Faces, Alice Coop-
er, Beefheart), some nouveau
folk (Ry Cooder, Randy New-
man, James Taylor), with all of
side six devoted to Jesus type
songs. Almost no women per-
formers included. $3.00.

FREE FOLK CONCERT
LARRY GROCE
Sings hymns and folk music
MICHIGAN LEAGUE SNACK BAR
TONIGHT 7-9 P.M.
Sponsored by Christian Science Org.

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CoIlegia

- -- ---_
_ ,

7,71

ate Sorosis

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OPEN HOUSE

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14
3-5 p.m.
1501 WASHTENAW

*

Snodgrass and Hopwoods

iT one-man show B

y GLORIA JANE SMITH

By KENNETH C. GAERTNER
Centicore Gallery, 336 May-
nard, is presenting an exhibition
of Mark Sedgeman's painting
and sculpture, Feb. 1 through
Feb. 19. Although Sedgeman has
previously shown his work at
Forsythe Gallery in 1969, his
Centicore exhibition has so ad-
vanced beyond that initial show-
ing as to give the illusion of be-
*ing the work of an artist new to
the area. His work, in a typical
artistic illusion, has seemed to
mature overnight. The energetic,
but groping, early work, has
been superseded by lucid, con-
fident colors that are ' brushed
upon the canvas with all the as-
surance of sunlight falling upon a
hill.
The rigid logic of geometric
forms is made to rest with color
in a series of paintings that uti-
lize squares and rectangles to
achieve their formal design. In
some the paint is subdued in tone,
in others aggressively bright, but
always the brush stroke is mute
and confident, and always the
colors uplift and uphold the
forms, color giving them at once
their weight and their buoyancy.
There is another series of
paintings of what can be best de-
scribed an indeterminate
dreams; indeterminate as to re-
cognizable forms, but rich in re-
cognition, as we sometimes
recognize with amusement and
horror, that a nightmare was
really funny. Thoughts seem to
peek from the edges of paint, re-
fusing to define themselves;
small, unidentifiable monsters do
terrible acts, indifferently and
cheerfully. And the paintings are
so successful that one wants to
join them in their terrible acts.
and do them just as cheerfully.
The 'limitations of the gallery.
which is also a bookstore. present
a viewer's problem for the large
canvases. The 'perspective is all
wrong. The paintings need lateral
viewing, with a chance for the
viewer to find their best distance
to be studied. But in Centicore
Gallery they are hung eight feet
above the ground; bookshelves
don't enable the viewer to estab-
lish a proper distance, so that
canvases 5' tall and 3' wide are
dwarfed by 18' high ceilings, and
the block of huge space in which
the viewer is left standing.
In these large canvases energy
dominates, an energy that con-
centrates itself in the center of
the painting, gathering force
from the outer edges of the can-
Michigan Daily Arts Page
is looking for
MOVIE REVIEWERS

vas and spending itself in depth,
and not in a lateral movement
across the canvas.
It's regrettable that a better
perspective couldn't be found for
these paintings. The largeness of
the canvas, which serves its
own artistic function, is not al-
lowed to do its work, and much
that is in the painting is un-
doubtedly lost.
Several pen and ink drawings
are shown, and they are the least
successful exhibits of the show.
The form seems to intrude too
heavily on coherence and bal-
ance. The drawings seem too
heavy. But the criticism imme-
diately draws attention to their
merit-weight, an almost physical
heaviness that makes the hand
want to reach out and weigh the
drawing.
Although several handsome
pieces of sculpture are exhibited,
four ceramics, an oak carving,
and an alabaster, polished, and
partly painted blue, the piece
that drew the most attention was
on display by photograph. A
piece needing a minimcm of 40
square feet to be displayed, it is
constructed of wood, plastic, ala-
baster, rope, polished quartz on
velvet, steel, and painted bril-
liantly in primary colors. And
the piece is as whimsical and in-,
volve'd as the litany of materials
suggests. One wants to ride it,
have a picnic in it, hire a band
to play in it, at any rate invent
something happy to do in it.
Which seems to capsulize the
whole exhibition-an artist's de-
light in his own energy and pro-
ficiency.
I- - - -- - -

It was a very good year..
1926.
Robert Bly was born. Allen
Ginsberg was born. And J. D.
Snodgrass was born.
Last year, I sat in Stockwell
Hall listening to Robert B 1 y ,
last semester, I sat in Canter-
bury House listening to A 11 e n
Ginsberg, and yesterday after-
noon, I sat in Rackham Amphi-
theater listening to J. D. Snog-
grass. In that respect, 1970-71
have likewise been very g o o d
years.
Snodgrass' reading preceeded
the presentation of the Under-
classmen Hopwood Awards, a
tradition begun by Avery Hop-
wood.
Hopwood was a 1905 graduate
of the University, who typifies
the American legend of "poor
boy makes good." Born in Cleve-
land, Ohio, he worked his way
through college firing furnaces,
and after graduation went to
New York to become involved
with light theatre. He became
a millionaire while still in his
thirties.
Hopwood died a young man in
his early forties, and willed one
fifth of his estate to the Re-
gents to establish the Hopwood
Literary Awards at the Uni-
versity.
Although the first awards were
given in 1931, yesterday was
only the fifth time that they
have been awarded in the Un-
derclassmen Contest.
Of the 37 manuscripts t h a t
were entered, professors Carlton
F. Wells and Robert F. Haugh,
who judged the contest, gave
awards to seven underclassmen
totalling $700.
Eucene H. Robinson, A&D '74,

was the only winner in the Es-
say Division for "Recollections
of Obscurity."
Winners in the Fiction Divi-
sion were LSA sophomores Jon
Reed Luoma for "Act Five," and
Arthur Joslyn Patten RC '73
for "The Devil and Flash GQr-
don."
Patten also received an award
in the Poetry Division for "Six
Poems," along with John Fred-
rick Welzenbach, LSA '74, for
"Poetry." RC sophomore James
R. Guthrie for "Prognostica-
tions," and LSA sophomore Dav-
id Weintraub for "Ten Poems."
When Snodgrass began to
read his poems, the podium
gradually became instead a
stage, with this Pulitzer Prize-
winning poet drifting from solil-
oquies to dual-character p r e-
sentations.
In one poem, there were two
voices, that of the Jewish phil-
osopher Spinoza and that of a
man in Snodgrass' past, a naval
officer during WW II who had
instructed Snodgrass in s e 1 f-
defense; in how to "blind a man
with his bare hands."
"Put your fingers in kind of
a V' for victory," and "Jam
the eyes of the enemy," said the
voice of the navy official.
"Novirtue is greater thanto
preserve ones being," said t h e
voice of Spinoza,
"Rip off the facial mask," said
the voice of the naval official.
The frightening point of the
poem was the similarity between
what the two voices said. As
Snodgrass explained, "It doesn't
make any difference what we

believe; what matters is how we
react to everyday life." In other
words, he demanded, "Don't tell
me that you're a Christian, what
I want to know is have you quit
beating your wife?"
Snodgrass explained that he
once had a "mouse-like" sister
who at the age of 25 had not
yet had a date, and who awoke
on July 4 of that year and died.
At this point the poet seemed
to be returning, at least in his
own mind, to that time in his
life and his face saddened.
Many of the poems he then read
centered around her death and
those who survived the tragedy.
'Love is possible," he read,
"We have to try."
Snodgrass expressed amuse-
ment that Columbia's Phi Beta
Kappa had once asked him to
write and read a poem for them.
He had explained that he had
responded with a critique on

education involving men in
"long black robes" who used sil-
ver saws and strings to demas-
culate, to deform the brain and
to destroy the wings of a half-
man, half-bird subject who was
strapped down before them.
He will learn to "fly no high-
er than his superiors fly," Snod-
grass read, "He is one of ours."
It was a poem, Snodgrass ex-
plained, "against the forces of
any large organization, not only
universities."
Snodgrass spent as much time
talking about himself and his
poetry as he did reading. We
not only saw an accomplished
poet on stage, but we met a man
who lives out in the woods of
Syracuse. It was a very personal
hour. And J. D. Snodgrass, a
poet who enjoys music, tennis
and the deep resonant call of
owls, left with us a part of him-
self.

Kiowbblutz
Utop ia vs. Reality
Ann Arbor Beit Midrash Seminar
Wednesday, February 17
8:30 p.m.-SHALOM HOUSE
1429 Hll St.
SPEAKERS: Israeli kibbutz couple
QUESTIONS AFTERWARDS
For anyone interested in kibbutz program come on
February 17 or write to Kibbutz Aliya Desk, Suite
1301, 200 Park Ave. South, N.Y., N.Y. 10003.
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